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The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams Paperback


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The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams + 365 Ways to Live Cheap: Your Everyday Guide to Saving Money + Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (June 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137054254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137054251
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #818,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

As seen in USA Today .

About the Author

Trent Hamm transformed his life, escaping both massive consumer debt and work he couldn’t stand. He began sharing the lessons he learned through his website, The Simple Dollar (www.thesimpledollar.com), which has quickly grown into one of the nation’s most

popular personal finance sites, attracting more than 600,000 visitors every month.

 

He is the author of 365 Ways to Live Cheap: Your Everyday Guide to Saving Money, and writes articlesthat are regularly syndicated to hundreds of small newspapersand newsletters.

 


More About the Author

Trent Hamm transformed his life, escaping both massive consumer debt and work he couldn't stand. He began sharing the lessons he learned through his web site, The Simple Dollar (www.thesimpledollar.com), which has quickly grown into one of the nation's most popular personal finance sites. He is author of The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams and 365 Ways to Live Cheap: Your Everyday Guide to Saving Money. Trent also contributes articles to OpenForum.com, American Express' Small Business forum.

Customer Reviews

The book is loaded with great ideas to help you get rid of your own debt.
Christina @ Northern Cheapskate
It's not too much different from the vast sea of information that're in blogs on the internet, but it is compiled into one place.
L. Tam
I found it to be well worth the read, and much more valuable long term than so many other personal finance books I have read.
C. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Tryon on July 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Three stars -- right in the middle -- isn't a rating I "award" very often; usually my views tip one way or the other.

In this case, I think the book might be worth five stars to those who:

* are fairly young and unknowledgeable about personal finances;
* find inspiration in personal stories related by a peer (or age cohort);
* prefer to have a hard copy of text instead of reading information readily accessed on the Web;
* or those who do not use the Internet at all.

But there are others for whom the book would not rate more than a single star, such as those who:

* have some background in managing their money and have read other books on debt reduction;
* read personal finance blogs such as this author's and the blog of one of his endorsers and do not feel the need for a hard copy of the material;
* might have trouble relating to a young man who has, so far, faced only a young man's problems. "Over the years" is, in reality, only a few years for this writer. Some might find this off-putting.

I am not certain that there are more people in the former category than in the latter, so simply on content, style, and utility, I'll give this three stars.

For myself, however, I tip clearly toward the latter group. I read personal finance blogs to find new information and, in terms of getting out of debt, there is simply nothing new to say. Do it. If you need tips on how to do so and if you are Web-literate enough to be reading this review, you can use search engines.

But there are constantly new nuggets about frugality to be gleaned. That's why I look at personal finance blogs, including this writer's.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Holly TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I picked this up on my Kindle, I assumed I was getting a book loaded with financial guidance. Long a believer in debt-free living, I still enjoy picking up these types of books - they are very reinforcing when swimming upstream from the way most American families operate and I often get tidbits of wisdom that come in very handy. I wasn't aware of the author's blog until after reading this book, but it appears to be very interesting and I have added to my "Favorites" on my computer.

Regarding this book -- take a moment before purchasing to look at the table of contents. The first chapter is about reducing debt (or ideally becoming debt free) and while fairly basic, is helpful. Good, solid financial advice. The remainder of the book really leans more toward life improvement, knowing yourself, following your dreams, etc. but the tie-in is that most of these things can't be accomplished if you are drowning in debt. For example: You can't take that new job with a startup company that doesn't pay much initially if you need the monthly paycheck from the job you are currently in. It gives an excellent explanation of the difference between frugal and cheap. Frugal is aligning your spending with what you truly value and gives you pleasure - it's not negative, just smart.

These are only two examples of what is contained in this book, but it is loaded with all kinds of thought provoking data and suggestions for anyone willing to open their mind and question the status quo. It intertwines financial health with quality of life and I found it to be an excellent guide for all ages.

A definite winner though not a financial how-to book as expected.
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46 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Christina @ Northern Cheapskate on June 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
First off, let me just say this: I'm a huge fan of Trent Hamm and his blog The Simple Dollar.

His commonsense advice on every possible area of personal finance has served as an inspiration for me as we make our frugal journey.

Trent Hamm's latest book, The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams, is just as inspiring as his blog.

In the book, Hamm shares his own personal story with debt and how he escaped the shackles of it. The book is loaded with great ideas to help you get rid of your own debt. Each chapter has an easy to follow punch list of 5 things you can do to work on your finances.

Yet, this book is much more than a how-to guide. It also delves into the psychology of how you spend your money, questions what things you value and why they're important to you, and encourages you to set realistic, achievable goals for your future.

Written in simple, easy-to-to-understand terms and full of sure-to-inspire ideas, The Simple Dollar by Trent Hamm is a must-read for anyone serious about getting out of debt and staying out.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M M Frank on April 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hamm makes some good points in this book, but unfortunately the reader has to wade through so much dross and redundancy to find them that they lose a lot of their impact. He could just as easily have written a book containing the same information at half the length, though economy in writing is not Hamm's forte, as anyone who has ever read his blog has doubtlessly noticed. Rather than writing a concise, user-friendly personal finance guide, Hamm tediously stretches this work into a 270 page tome that would be completely exhausting if it weren't so redundant.

The following paragraph appears three times VERBATIM in the book before chapter five (of a nineteen chapter work):
"It's easy to be resistant to the idea of setting goals. It requires introspection, commitment, and facing your fears. Yet, without clear, written goals with discrete follow-ups, it is substantially harder to achieve significant gains in life. Without them, it's likely nothing will change in your life."

I understand repeating yourself to make a point, but in this case, it appears to be bad editing, and there are several other examples of the same repeated sentences and phrases throughout the book. There are a fair number of typos too, but I'm sure there are typos in this review, so I'm not going to bust him for that.

Hamm has good if fairly typical and conventional things to say, but the way the book is written makes it almost excruciating for the reader to muddle through it. He intersperses solid financial advice with a bunch of squishy personal-development crap and at times it seems like he is writing purely for length rather than to entertain, inform, or persuade the reader. If he were to revise it by whittling out about 150 pages of unnecessary wordiness, reiteration, and irrelevant bloviating, it might be a book I would recommend to others, but as it stands now, not so much.
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